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Should You Change Your From Line?

November 2, 2011  

Should you change the from line you use in email campaigns? According to Mark Brownlow, most people would advise against it—strenuously—on the grounds that messages might be ignored or marked as spam. "This argument is perfectly logical," he writes at Email Marketing Reports. "However, the problem is not changing your from line per se, but how you change it."

In other words, it's possible to change a from line without making it unrecognizable. And you might have a good reason to do so.

Let's assume, for instance, that you're like Brownlow, who has used "Email Marketing Reports" as his from line since launching his newsletter. "Could I get a response boost by using my name as the from line, rather than the rather unexciting website name?" he asks. He considers a few possibilities:

  • His byline is prominent, and most regular readers should associate "Mark Brownlow" with his content.
  • Nevertheless, "Email Marketing Reports" will likely register as a more familiar name.

Brownlow decided to split the difference by testing the new from line "Mark at Email Marketing Reports." The results were impressive: He gained a 12.75% lift in his open rate and a 21.38% lift in his clickthrough rate. "I'm not convinced those improvements will hold in the long-term: there may be curiosity and novelty factors at play," he notes. But the change didn't seem to do any harm.

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